Pirate Springs helps recovering addicts find ‘treasure buried within’

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 9/12/18

Pirate Springs is a locally owned 501(c)(3) nonprofit that specializes in addiction recovery for women, including those with children.

The organization works to make the community safer and …

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Pirate Springs helps recovering addicts find ‘treasure buried within’

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Pirate Springs is a locally owned 501(c)(3) nonprofit that specializes in addiction recovery for women, including those with children.

The organization works to make the community safer and more productive by helping addicts, alcoholics and victims of abuse recover and reintegrate into society as productive citizens, rather than remaining chronically needy or career criminals.

Co-founder, CEO and President Paul Hook said the name for Pirate Springs was inspired by his last name, as Captain Hook inspires thoughts of pirates. According to Hook, people in recovery are often edgy and are drawn to the name initially and stay once they see what the program is about.

Hook said, “Pirate Springs’ motto is ‘We help locate the treasure buried within yourself.’”

A former pastor, Hook said he was called out of the ministry to pursue another form of service, and he said Pirate Springs was exactly what he was led to do, as it allowed him to work with those who are suffering who also often have a problem with God because of their addiction.

“God gave me the job of working with these women until their hearts are softened, and when they discover this buried treasure within them, they normally find it’s Christ within,” he added.

Abuse is often a recurring theme with addiction, and Pirate Springs sees both occur simultaneously with many of its residents.

There is also a program of Pirate Springs known as Clean Time, which sees male residents of halfway houses in the area going to local car dealerships once per week to wash the cars within. Not only does this get the men outside and accustomed to working while building a good work ethic, but it also pays the men for their work. Clean Time is a registered DBA, so checks can be made payable to the organization.

“Women are very underserved in the recovery community, but we have plans to help everyone eventually,” Hook said.

While searching for a location to use as a headquarters, him and his wife, Julie, discovered what would eventually be the base of operations for Pirate Springs; however, due to additional legislative red tape, the initial deal fell through. He said despite this, he felt like they were meant to have the facility, and after 14 months, the owners said all other deals had fallen through and asked the Hooks if they would still like it. The answer was an obvious “yes.”

In November 2017, Hook asked his pastor at the Church at Grace Point, as Pirate Springs is a ministry within the church, if the church would originally be willing to support it. He said he gave a presentation on a Sunday morning about the program’s potential and asked everyone to come back a week later after having prayed about it and donate as the Lord led them. Pirate Springs then received over $12,000 in donations from members alongside the usual amount for member tithes that following Sunday.

Despite this show of generosity, Pirate Springs has received little support from the community aside from the church. Hook and Julie even pool their own, personal resources into the program at times to continue its mission and keep it afloat. As they are the only two workers, the Hooks are looking forward to getting interns from UTC in spring 2019 after the interning process has been completed.

Spreading awareness is one of Pirate Springs’ largest missions, as Hook attends numerous nonprofit meetings around the area and also speaks at various meetings such as the Bradley County Interagency Council. Despite the high level of need in the area, Hook is baffled as to why the organization can’t get more community aid.

“I know we haven’t been able to get our message out as much. We would love people to call us if they wonder, ‘what is happening out there?’ Or ‘what does our community need?’” Hook added. “We take people that don’t have insurance. It’s only $125 per week, which also includes us helping them get work, helping them get their legal stuff cleared up and helping them get reunited with children.”

The couple has been personally affected by addiction themselves, and explains how they want nothing more than to aid those who are suffering.

Pirate Springs has an upcoming fundraiser set for Sept. 27, known as the National Recovery Month Costume Banquet. This event will not only bring awareness of addiction to the community, but also honor and celebrate the many who have found their way out of the shadow of addiction. Attendants are expected to wear a costume of their choice, though pirates will fit more with the organization’s theme. A table for six can be sponsored for $300, or an individual plate for dinner costs $50. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. and will also feature a D.J., dancing, various testimonies and even a best pirate costume contest. The Hooks hope to see the community come out and encourages anyone to check out what Pirate Springs is all about.

For more information, contact 423-476-4860, check out the nonprofit’s Facebook page or its website at www.piratesprings.org.  

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